BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, January 12: After the last Lok Sabha elections, the State is preparing for civic polls the date of which was announced on Monday. The Assam State Election Commission notified that polls to municipal boards and town committees would be held on February 10 next. The last civic elections in the State were taken place on July 31, 2009.
Addressing a press conference held here on Monday, State Election Commissioner Harendra th Bora declared that polls to 32 municipal boards and 42 town committees would be held on February 10 and filing of nomition would start from January 19. “The nomition filing will continue till January 28. Scrutiny of nomition papers will take place on January 30. The last date of withdrawal of candidature is February 2 and on the same date the list of candidates in fray will be published.”
“If there is any repoll, it will take place on February 12. The counting will take place on February 13 from 8 am. The polling will be held from 8 am to 4 pm,” Bora said.
Polling will take place in 1,748 polling stations spread across 746 wards. “Out of 746 wards, 367 wards are reserved for women candidates, 32 for SC candidates and 7 for ST candidates. The total number of voters is 14,84,496 (7,62,302 males and 7,22,194 females),” he said, adding, “Compared to the 2009’s civic elections in the State, the number of voters has increased by 12.06 per cent.”
The State Election Commission has also fixed the poll campaign expenditure limit so that no candidate can use money power during elections. “In a ward having 1,500 or less population, a candidate can spend Rs 20,000. Similarly, Rs 24,000, Rs 28,000 and Rs 32,000 can be spent by a candidate for his/her poll campaign in a ward having 1,500 to 3,000, 3,001 to 4,500 and 4,501 or above population respectively,” Bora said. The State Election Commissioner further stated that poll observer would be appointed to keep tab on campaign expenditure by the candidates.
Sources said that the 2015 civic elections would be a litmus test for the ruling Congress party in the State after its last Lok Sabha poll drubbing. The civic polls would be a challenge too for the AGP to consolidate its position in the State politics, sources added. The BJP has also taken the upcoming civic polls seriously as it needs to keep its popularity intact among the urban people who voted massively for the party in the last Lok Sabha elections.
THE FACT SHEET
* Filing of nomition from January 19
* Nomition paper scrutiny on January 30
* Last date of withdrawal of candidature is February 2
* Re–poll, if any, to be held on February 12
* Counting to take place on February 13